I Am So Thrilled To Be Blogging for Mothering

Blogging for Mothering magazine is truly a dream come true for me! I never thought in a million years that I would be able to write on a daily basis for a magazine that I adore about a subject I hold dear: breastfeeding.

The angle I will take on breastfeeding here is going to be a bit unconventional. I won’t be blogging about current news and events surrounding breastfeeding. Instead I will blog about historic breastfeeding and show evidence that over the years the formula industry aided in making nursing in public taboo.

Some of you may know me from my personal breastfeeding blog, and others of you may be reading my writing for the very first time. A lot of what I have previously written I will also share here. I will publish a whole host of new photos and archived information about breastfeeding that has largely been lost to history.

On my about page it mentions a photograph I found on the Library of Congress website that prompted me on this never-ending search for more historic breastfeeding photos. Well, here it is. Here is the photo that started it all. I hope you join me as I find more and more photos and writings that show how much nursing in public was a part of everyday life for so many mothers for so long.

I’d like to introduce you to a mother who is traveling from Louisville, Kentucky to Memphis, Tennessee on a Greyhound bus. Here, she is waiting in the Chattanooga bus terminal and breastfeeding in public in September 1943.

12 thoughts on “I Am So Thrilled To Be Blogging for Mothering”

  1. This is a beautiful image. As a breastfeeding mother from Louisville, KY I feel like this woman blazed a ‘nursing in public’ trail that I now currently spend much of my time on. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Awesome pics. I am curious if these photos have altered your feelings on nursing in public? I was browsing the archives of your other blog and got to wondering…

  3. My NIP stance can sound a bit archaic to some because I believe there can be a happy place where moms can nurse in public in comfort and peace and people who aren’t partial to seeing NIP can also feel comfortable. I know that isn’t a very popular stance to have and it is probably never going to be that way because dissenting opinions can be so difficult to mesh.

    The work I do helps me to better understand how my opinions have been shaped by a society that for decades railed against breastfeeding. Times have certainly changed, but the more I learn, the more my opinions are molded by what once was as opposed to how NIP is treated now.

  4. I was one of those babies – born in 1947, my mother was told she didn’t have enough milk to breastfeed and I was very fussy – so my dad learned how to clean and sterilize the bottles, mix prepare the formula once a day:

    Boil water 15 oz to be mixed in the bottles x 10 minutes

    Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of Karo Syrup

    Add 5 ounces Irradiated canned milk

    Pour 3 ounces into each bottle and close loosely with a cap – heat in a bottle heater x 15 minutes, remove, close top tightly and refrigerate.

    Babies were fed on a strict schedule: q 4 hours, not at night, and there were specific times to play, bathe, etc. The rest of the time they were to be in their cribs or playpens.

    I would stay in my crib and cry and eventually vomit – and cry some more.

    When my mother saw me parent a la La Leche League in the early 70s she cried…she was SO UPSET at learning that what she had done was WRONG – but she was so frightened of babies (still) that she would only hold her grandson when she was seated and I gave him to her…

    But what a gift she gave me of NOT criticizing how differently I chose to parent!

  5. Thank you so much for leaving comments. I’m glad you all enjoy the photos.

    Jeanette — It is a gift that your mother was understanding because family members can be huge influencers on the way we parent.

  6. I’ve often wondered about the time before formula was imposed upon motherhood. This is such a treasure to be able to see the normalcy in this very natural part of life. While formula may have it’s place (in rare instances)it’s a shame that it has, and continues to be used to exploit so many mothers. I feel though, that we are well on our way to reclaiming our babies and our bodies, thanks largely in part to the efforts of Mothering and it’s staff. Thank you.

  7. The woman looks upset. Like, enraged. My immediate thought – she didn’t want the photo taken.

    Which is an interesting point – I support breastfeeding in any public space, I make no assumptions about the women in these photo. Some of them don’t look entirely comfortable, just too polite or unable to deny the strange man with the camera.

    Privacy is also valuable.

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